High-tech surveillance network to target fatigue

Media Release


18 April 2016

The Australian Government will re-direct more than $4 million a year to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to implement targeted heavy vehicle safety initiatives, including developing one of the most high-tech network monitoring systems in the world.

“Safety is at the heart of the Government's plans for the abolition of the RSRT because we recognise that the reasons behind accidents are complex and require a modern, multifaceted approach to improve safety,” Mr Chester said.

“Funding allocated to the former Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will now be better utilised to develop new targeted safety measures including monitoring of heavy vehicles with a national network of cameras.

“I have asked the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to outline to all state Transport Ministers next month a plan to integrate more than 70 camera sites into a single national monitoring system.

“Heavy vehicle monitoring sites will be linked up through one national system, putting an end the ad-hoc approach to heavy vehicle visibility that currently exists across the road freight network.

“National visibility of vehicle movements across state boundaries will allow the NHVR and its partner agencies to identify drivers and operators that systematically flout fatigue rules.

“Non-compliance with the rules will result in a formal investigation across the entire supply chain to determine the root cause of why it is happening,” Mr Chester said.

NHVR Chair Bruce Baird said the additional funding for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will deliver further safety initiatives across the supply chain, in addition to the regulator's existing safety program.

“Along with the roll out electronic work diaries and newer safer heavy vehicles that incorporate advanced safety systems, a national camera network will put us on a path to one of the most high-tech monitoring networks in the world,” Mr Baird said.

“As part of our comprehensive approach to safety we are working with the industry to improve roadworthiness with a survey of 9000 vehicles to test the health of the fleet.

“New codes of practice guidelines and further education on everyone's role across the supply chain including the adoption of safety management practices will also be delivered in the coming months.

“We've also developed a new national inspection manual to ensure consistent inspections and enforcement across Australia.

“Our National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, which targets maintenance and fatigue while delivering productivity benefits for operators who invest in robust and auditable management systems, had 6,096 operators accredited last year.

“We've been transitioning all Advanced Fatigue Management operators to a national scheme under the Heavy Vehicle National Law, allowing operators to easily adopt a risk-management approach to fatigue,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Chester said the additional resources would further NHVR's efforts to ensure freight tasks were carried out safety, efficiently and with minimum impact on the community.

“The Australian Government recognises the importance of the freight sector to the national economy, which is why the Australian Government has committed over $50 billion to improving road and rail networks across the nation.

“We are committed to improving safety and we are committed to the productivity of heavy vehicle operations across Australia,” Mr Chester said.